Stolen letter from Christopher Columbus found in obvious hiding spot
In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
In 1493, he wrote a letter back home to Italy, explaining that the world isn't flat after all. That letter was stolen, and now in 2016, U.S. federal authorities have tracked it down.
The letter was stolen from a library in Florence, Italy.
In the letter, Columbus journaled about his exploration of "the new world." More than 500 years ago, scores of copies were disseminated throughout Europe. Today, the Department of Justice says that only 80 copies of the letter remain.
Investigations began when special agents were tipped off that the letter in the Italian library was swapped with a fake.
Experts confirmed the letter was counterfeit when they noticed it was a high-quality photocopy. The document didn't have an original library stamp, and the stitching patterns did not match.
The original copy was hiding in plain sight for years. Authorities tracked the letter down to a 1992 New York auction, where the letter was sold to a rare book dealer for 300,000 dollars.
In 2004, the letter was donated to the U.S. Library of Congress. The letter spent 12 years in a U.S. library and has finally been returned home to Italy.
Reuters reports that the letter is now worth $1.13 million dollars. Now that's something worth writing home about!
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